It targets youth who by most accounts would be considered at high risk for committing crimes—young, mainly minority males, from urban areas—and helps them finish high school, earn a GED, learn a trade, and find a job and keep it.
The whole purpose of the Job Corps is to take young people with a bleak future and train and educate them so that they can find well-paying jobs and become productive citizens.
Among the characteristics of crime is that it is generally the easiest way to satisfy one’s needs—so, for example, if I want to have a car, one of the easiest ways to get one would be to steal one or buy a stolen one at a great discount.
The benefits of crime can be reduced if crime is made more difficult in addition to more costly.
One of the most frequently taken paths of criminal justice policy is to enhance the formal penalties for crime with the expectation that such an increase will lower the commission of that particular crime (and maybe others, if there is a spillover effect whereby if we punish more severely for Crime X it also inhibits people from committing Crime Y).
Readers who think about the major criminal justice response to the increase in crime during the 1990s and early 21st century will discover that most states responded by increasing the number of people in prison and increasing the length of time inmates were spending in prison.
Frequently, then, when there are calls for more police, less plea bargaining in courts, more prison terms and less use of probation, and more certain and longer prison terms, these calls are based on the expectations of RCT that such measures will increase either the objective or expected costs of crime and, other things being equal, will reduce the level of crime.
Increasing the costs of crime is only one way under deterrence theory and RCT to reduce the level of crime; one can also lower crime by increasing the benefits of activities that compete with crime.
Whether they realize it or not, proponents of a “get tough on crime” stance usually are assuming a rational choice view of crime.
In fact, rational choice assumptions permeate the criminal justice system and form its foundation.